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Discussion

Will There Be Sufficient Electricity?

Author(s): Herschel Specter
President
Micro-Utilities, Inc.
Date: September 11, 2014 at 9:56 AM

An analysis has been made to determine if there would be enough electricity in the US by 2050 to support a carbon-free future to avoid the worst effects of climate change. Assuming that carbon capture and sequestration is not practical, a mix of nuclear and renewable energy power plants was examined. Existing fossil power plants and nuclear plants represent 86% of the electricity that was produced in 2012. By 2050, to be carbon-free, all of these fossil plants would have to be phased out, while all present nuclear plants would have reached the end of their operating licenses. According to… [more]

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Time to Launch a U.S. National Energy Program as a Matter of National Security

Author(s): Lawrence Klaus
Freelance projects of interest
Retired
Date: August 28, 2014 at 7:30 AM

A National Energy Program (NEP) is proposed to eliminate the gap between U.S. oil consumption and production and significantly reduce green house gas emissions in a decade to place our nation on the road to a sustainable energy future. With domestic natural gas plentiful, eliminating the “oil gap” will achieve energy independence. The international Energy Agency forecasts this gap to be approximately seven million barrels and day (MBD) in 2025 [1]. Forecasts vary from 4-7 MBD depending on source used. Current forecasts are “not real world”; because they are based on continuation of business as usual conditions in an increasingly… [more]

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Refueling the Future with Alcohol Fuels

Author(s): Eyal Aronoff
Co-Founder
Fuel Freedom Foundation
Date: August 22, 2014 at 2:56 PM

The lack of alternative energy sources to fuel our vehicles and replace expensive oil, jeopardizes U.S. national security, forces Americans to pay more at the pump, and greatly represses our ability to reduce pollution and address climate change concerns. In my state of California, 74% of all emissions – including CO2, toxic pollutants, ozone forming emissions and more – come from petroleum. Oil accounts for 65% of California’s GHG emissions, compared to 33% from natural gas, and less than 2% from coal. Meanwhile, each year, the U.S. spends more than $600 billion to buy oil and oil products, which is… [more]

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The Challenges Of Integrating Renewables On To The Grid

Author(s): Duncan Callaway
Assistant Professor, Energy and Resources Group
University of California, Berkeley
Date: August 14, 2014 at 9:20 AM

Wind and solar capacity have grown significantly in the last decade, and many believe that significant reductions in carbon emissions require continued expansion of their capacity (see for example recent papers by Jim Williams et al and Jimmy Nelson et al[1]). With the declining cost of wind and solar, the economic case for increasing production from sources whose fuel is free is getting better. But getting these energy sources on to the grid is not without its engineering and economic challenges. Wind and solar production is both variable and uncertain, and grid system operators need to make sure they have… [more]

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Protecting Our Climate and the Middle Class

Author(s): Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)
Member
U.S. House of Representatives
Date: August 4, 2014 at 9:03 AM

Two of the most pressing issues facing us today are the need to address the economic costs and public health risks associated with climate change and strengthening the middle class. Over 97 percent of climate scientists agree that our planet is warming, primarily as a result of fossil fuel combustion, and that this warming is already causing more frequent, dangerous, and expensive extreme weather events. At the same time, our middle class is struggling. While the productivity of our economy increased by 75 percent between 1979 and 2012, wage growth for middle class workers increased by only 5 percent during… [more]

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Would a carbon tax effectively combat climate change?

Author(s): Lee Lane
Visiting Fellow
Hudson Institute
Date: July 24, 2014 at 9:30 AM

A number of scholars, from the left and the right have floated versions of a carbon tax. Henry Paulson has also weighed in, favoring a tax. In theory, a uniform comprehensive carbon tax enforced among all major global emitters might have great advantages. Such a tax, if linked to a stringent accounting system, could be more transparent than any other approach to greenhouse gas control. In contrast to command-and-control schemes, a tax would target abatement resources to where they would be most cost-effective. A tax, unlike the 2009  cap-and-trade bill, would make it harder for proponents to falsely promise both… [more]

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Examining The FERC-NERC Relationship & Setting Grid Reliability Standards

Author(s): Thomas Popik
Chairman
Foundation for Resilient Societies
Date: July 16, 2014 at 7:00 AM

Through the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Congress formed a hybrid system for setting electric grid reliability and security standards; a private corporation, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), writes grid standards, while a government agency, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) reviews and approves NERC’s standards. FERC and NERC appear to have a close working relationship in jointly developing grid standards. During an April 10, 2014 Senate Energy Committee hearing “Keeping The Lights On—Are We Doing Enough To Ensure The Reliability And Security Of The U.S. Electric Grid?” both Cheryl LaFleur, Acting Chair of FERC, and Gerry Cauley,… [more]

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A Standard That Makes Sense for Natural Gas Vehicle Customers

Author(s): Kathryn Clay
Vice President for Policy Strategy
American Gas Association
Date: July 7, 2014 at 4:50 PM

There is currently no national standard for dispensing liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a motor fuel. In July, the National Conference of Weights and Measures (NCWM) will consider requiring retail natural gas dispensers to use kilograms as the primary unit of sale for liquefied natural gas (LNG). The same regulators and officials advocating for that approach are encouraging that CNG no longer be sold in gasoline gallon equivalents as well. This would be a drastic departure from the current practice of using diesel gallon equivalents (DGE) for the sale of LNG, since it primarily competes with diesel fuel for trucking.… [more]

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How Should We Be Moving Oil?

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: June 30, 2014 at 5:37 PM

As the oil boom outgrows the US pipeline network, the oil industry is increasingly using alternatives such as rail to transport crude oil across the country. Between 2008 and 2013, annual crude oil transported by rail in the U.S. grew from 9,500 to 407,761 carloads (about 275 million barrels), according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR). During the same period, a debate about the safety of oil-by-rail has arisen in response to a few high profile accidents and spills, including the Lac-Mégantic derailment in Quebec on July 6th, 2013 that killed 47 people and destroyed half the town. At… [more]

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APCO Worldwide

Author(s): Michael Spiak
Program Manager
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: at 11:32 AM

APCO Worldwide is an independent, global communication, stakeholder engagement and business strategy firm. We challenge conventional thinking and inspire movements to help our clients succeed in an ever-changing world. Stakeholders are at the core of all we do. We turn the insights that come from our deep stakeholder relationships into forward-looking, creative solutions that always push the boundaries. Through our global Energy & Clean Tech practice, APCO engages with companies, trade associations, NGOs and others to create strategic communications that clearly define the values and benefits they bring to the marketplace. We work with clients along the entire value chain–… [more]

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